I am often confronted with this question by people who say I watch too many car shows, I am too involved in racing, and all I ever think about is cars. I, like many of you, was drafted into this passion at a young age, playing with (now vintage) Tootsie Toy, Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. Begging for electric racing sets for Christmas (and getting them!) ignited my love for cars. However, that does not make me any different from any other boy in America, which is why I STILL love them just as much as an adult.
Now in Adulthood, my reasons are a little different because I wouldn’t be caught in the floor rolling toys around and making engine sounds and transmission shifting noises. I have a justifiable argument that I had never taken the time to express until now. I love cars for three reasons:
1. Obviously Shape, Speed and Power!
I am a man…duh! I am, of course, moved by the wedges, lines and curves, the ducts and the scoops. Low-slung or high-sitting, sheet metal, fiberglass, carbon fiber or aluminum foil as long as it looks good, I love it. The faster it is capable of going, the more intrigued I am. There are cars that I would love to own that I would never use to their maximum potential. Just to know what it COULD do satisfies me. Knowing that modern man has created an attainable machine that presses the limits of physics makes my eyes roll back into my head!!!
Once I started reading Road & Track, Car & Driver and Sports Car Digest, and their references to cars of the past. I researched and found out that the history of the automobile is a long story, full of pride, passion, pitfalls and triumphs. The characters are a bunch of rebels, rednecks, gentleman racers, scoundrels and geniuses. They raced, they partnered, they argued, they struggled. This story, contrary to popular belief, is not just relegated to men. Women played a hand in building the industry. Some of our most iconic brands were motivated by, shaped like and named after women The stories behind the small companies are just as dynamic as the ones of the big three, many times more so. This story proves that cars are universal. You can find a gearhead anywhere in the world.
3. The Cornucopia
When I grew up, all I had was TNN and Motorweek. Now, we have whole networks dedicated to the car lifestyle. Our best-known celebrities are coming out of the closet as gearheads and racers. There is a magazine, television show and a fraternity for every type of car lover. This is the best time in history to love cars. Many times I go for weeks without watching the news (Thank goodness for social networks….) because I am consumed with my favorite car shows. I am also geeked at the fact that there are more on the way through The BBC, Fox, The Discovery Networks, The History Channel and Public Broadcasting they are only enabling my addiction. In addition to that are the tuners. No matter how expensive or powerful the car, there is a guy out there who has designed something to make it look better, go faster or fulfill his vision for what it “should” look like. Wheels, spoilers, interiors, etc. You can make your car different from the guy down the street and make him say: “What is that?”. Whether building them, fixing them, racing them, selling them or reviewing them, there is an outlet for all of us.
While many of my buddies are watching the NBA and ditching church for football, I am the oddball of the group. They look at the draft and I look at the point standings. I do need to surround myself with more car-minded individuals but I stand firm in my resolve. I LOVE CARS! Everything about them intrigues me and they give me something to look forward to long after the seasons for stick-and-ball sports are over. Car shows? I’m in! NASCAR, Indy or F1? I’m there. Press Shows and Dealership Events? That’s me! The only people who have read this article to the end are those that feel like I do…..GEARHEADS UNITE!!!